Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) was designed to alleviate distress surrounding traumatic memories. Through EMDR, memories can be accessed, and then processed, to bring the feelings associated with triggering and adverse life events to resolution. Most frequently, a psychologist will direct lateral eye movements in order facilitate access to the traumatic memory network. Sometimes, other stimuli or other forms of rhythmic sound are used to the same effect.


These new eye movements or noises are taught as an association to complete processing of information surrounding vivid negative memories. With the new found association, comes elimination of emotional distress, development of cognitive insights and fresh learnings. Studies show that by using EMDR, psychologists can assist clients to process memories more quickly than other forms of “talking therapies”.  The insights gained by clients come primarily through one’s own emotional and intellectual processing versus as a result of clinician interpretation. EMDR has been thought to help by diverting attention whilst the past traumatic event is being reprocessed. This allows memories to be processed without the mental load.

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The goals of EMDR

Access emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and physical sensations that occurred at the time of a distressing event
Reformulate negative beliefs and stress and reduce psychological arousal
Relieve psychological distress, particularly in clients with PTSD & Trauma
Reduce symptoms of trauma and stress, including both anxiety and depression
To maintain the benefit of a reduction of symptoms associated with trauma and depression

EMDR Resources

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